AT least 25 suspected criminals were killed in simultaneous police operations in Manila over 24 hours, an official said Thursday.
Chief Superintendent Joel Napoleon Coronel, director of the Manila Police District (MPD), clarified that in the 40 separate operations that started at 7 a.m. on Wednesday until 7 a.m. on Thursday, 14 of the 25 were drug pushers who resisted arrest while 11 were robbery-holdup suspects.
Coronel added that 48 individuals were also arrested for murder, frustrated murder, and human trafficking, among others while 118 were nabbed for violations of city ordinances.
“Ten of 11 police stations of Manila contributed to these achievements in 24 hours. These results were products of our one-time-big-time raids. In fact, our policemen are now looking for two drug users who were the cause of the fire in San Miguel Street,” said Coronel, referring to the fire in a residential area near Malacanang on Wednesday.
Coronel added that the intensified anti-criminality operations have resulted in 18 deaths daily.
“Out of 1.7 million residents of Manila, some 300,000 of them are into illegal drugs. So far, 24 barangay are now drug-free and we hope to add more and have at least 100 villages drug-free by end of the year,” Coronel said, adding that today the MPD will be cited by the leadership of the Philippine National Police as the ‘Best District’ in Metro Manila.
He added that 55,000 persons on the drug watch list have surrendered while 6,000 were arrested since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his drug war.
Early Thursday, MPD spokesman Erwin Margarejo said that 26 persons were killed in drug operations but Coronel corrected this, saying that one person killed was a victim of murder.
Coronel also denied insinuations that drug suspects were intentionally killed and that resisting arrest angle was only a myth.
“In fact, two of our police officers were wounded in the two weeks. One of them will undergo surgery. Doctors will insert titanium on one of his shoulders. We are still looking for money to make this happen,” he told reporters at a hastily called news conference.
Coronel said he could not provide the list of the slain criminals because investigators were still finalizing the list.
On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the killing of 32 drug suspects in various raids in Bulacan province. He commended the Bulacan police and even urged them to kill 32 drug suspects daily.